Legislative Updates

2019 Legislative Session

June 5, 2019

The Delaware General Assembly is back in session this week. The following are among pre-filed legislation:

  • HB 178 – Introduced in the House: Taxes Assessed Against Real Estate Property
  • HB 175 – Introduced in the House: Vote-By-Mail Bill
  • HB 200 – Introduced in the House: Clean Water Legislation
  • SB 118 – Introduced in the Senate: Real Estate License Denial

During the break the last two weeks, the Joint Finance Committee approved the Governor’s $4.27 billion recommended 2020 budget. Also approved as part of the budget were a 2 percent raise for teachers and a $1,000 flat pay increase for more than 30,000 state employees.

Additional Highlights:

  • $11.2 million for public school transportation, including $4 million in raises for school bus contractors
  • $6 million for the Opportunity Grants program that assists schools serving high poverty and non-English speaking students — a three-fold increase over the current allocation; the program would shift from a competitive grant to automatic funding
  • $3.8 million for the Delaware Stars for Early Success, offering training for early childcare providers
  • $2 million for the restoration of a prescription assistance program for disabled and low-income seniors
  • $1.2 million for the Delaware State Police to fund a full-time Special Operations Response Team
  • $850,000 to close a funding gap for the Meals on Wheels program

The spending plan approved by the legislature will increase the state’s operating budget spending by 4 percent, compared to the 3.5 percent proposed by the governor.

May 29, 2019

The Delaware General Assembly will be back in session next week.

DAR stands with Gov. John Carney in opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In March, DAR sent this letter to the Delaware congressional delegation. Visit de.gov/nodrilling to add your voice.

May 15, 2019

Delaware Realtors gathered in Washington, D.C. to meet with Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester during the NAR Legislative Meetings in D.C. last week. The visit included discussions on long-term reauthorization of flood insurance, qualified opportunity zones, expanded access to association health plans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform, data privacy and infrastructure.

Delaware Realtors with Senator Tom Carper and Senator Chris Coons

Delaware Realtors with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester

The Delaware General Assembly is out of session until June 4. Activity the week of May 13 included the following:
HB 130 – Passed in the House: Recycling & Waste Reductions (single-use plastic)
 HB 110 – Introduced in the House: Marijuana Control Act
HB 131 – Passed in the House: Lottery Code Amendment (Mia’s Law)
HB 59 – Passed in the House: Community Transportation Fund
HB 46 – Passed in the House and Senate: Manufactured Homeowner Attorney Fund

May 8, 2019

Here’s a peak inside Senate Chambers during a General Assembly session.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted unanimously to support HB 68: Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program Extension. This bill would extend the Automatic Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program and the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education through December 31, 2024. DAR supports reasonable legislation that strengthens foreclosure mediation programs. Take a peek inside the Senate Chamber here.

On Wednesday, May 15, DAR members are invited to Capitol Hill to meet with Delaware’s Congressional delegation from 10:00 until 11:45 a.m. in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Building at 120 Constitution Ave. Contact your local association (NCCBOR, KCAR, SCAOR) for details on group travel arrangements.

DAR was a presidential sponsor of the 2019 Delaware Republican state dinner and convention (see photographs below). DAR is committed to bipartisanship and working to protect homeownership and property rights in Delaware.

May 1, 2019

The Delaware State Chamber Small Business Day on May 9 in Dover is an opportunity for you to join in conversations with legislators. Register here. Also, on June 6 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Chamber is sponsoring the annual End-of-Session Legislative Brunch at Dover Downs. Register here.

There is no charge for members to attend NAR’s 2019 Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo May 13 – 18 in Washington, D.C. Get registration details here. On Wednesday, May 15, DAR members are invited to Capitol Hill to meet with Delaware’s Congressional delegation from 10:00 until 11:45 a.m. in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Building at 120 Constitution Ave. Contact your local association (NCCBOR, KCAR, SCAOR) for details on group travel arrangements, or meet us there. Get more information on the legislative meetings and trade expo here.

Learn more about advocacy and how to prepare for meetings with members of Congress during an annual Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Town Hall Webcast, hosted by NAR Director of Member Engagement Nobu Hata on May 8 at 2 p.m. Register here.

April 24, 2019

On May 9, join in conversations with the legislators who can pass or vote down bills that impact your business. The 5th annual Small Business Day, sponsored by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, is a chance for your voice to be heard. Register here.

NAR’s 2019 Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo May 13 – 18 in Washington, D.C. at no charge to members. On Wednesday, May 15, DAR members are invited to Capitol Hill to meet with Delaware’s Congressional delegation from 10:00 until 11:45 a.m. in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Building at 120 Constitution Ave.  This is your opportunity to hear from Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Tom Carper, and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester about important issues. Contact your local association (NCCBOR, KCAR, SCAOR) for details on group travel arrangements, or meet us there. Get more information on the legislative meetings and trade expo here.

Reminder: Real estate professionals must comply with lead-based paint disclosure regulations. Read more.

April 18, 2019

Rep. S. Quinton “Quinn” Johnson (8th District) was the first guest speaker at the 2019 DAR Broker Meeting, and provided an update on the 150th Legislative Session. Rep. Johnson chairs the Appropriations, Energy, and Joint Finance committees, and serves on a subcommittee of the DEFAC charged with developing less volatile revenue streams and budget smoothing policies. He talked about the critical role the real estate industry plays in driving innovation and economic growth in Delaware, and the future of the state’s economy and its impact on our state budget.

NAR’s 2019 Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo May 13 – 18 in Washington, D.C. offers special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show — all at no charge to members. Get more information on the legislative meetings and trade expo here. Contact your local association (NCCBOR, KCAR, SCAOR) for details on group travel arrangements, or meet us there.

 

The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce End-of-Session Legislative Lunch is June 6 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Dover Downs. Get details and register here.

 

April 10, 2019

NAR’s 2019 Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo May 13 – 18 in Washington, D.C. offers special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show — all at no charge to members.

On Wednesday, May 15, DAR members are invited to Capitol Hill to meet with Delaware’s Congressional delegation from 10:00 until 11:45 a.m., in Room 216 of the Senate Hart Building at 120 Constitution Ave.  This is your opportunity to hear from Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Tom Carper, and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester about important issues. Contact your local association (NCCBOR, KCAR, SCAOR) for details on group travel arrangements, or meet us there.

Get more information on the legislative meetings and trade expo here.

On May 9th, join the conversation with all 14 chambers of commerce in the state at Small Business Day in Dover. Learn about current issues that could impact your business and interact with the legislators who can pass or vote down these bills. Register here.

April 3, 2019

It’s spring, and the Delaware General Assembly is out of session until Tuesday, April 9. With only three months left in the 2019 legislative session, there is a lot of work still to be done. Below are last week’s activities of note.

Passed in the House:

  • HB 38 – Early Voting Bill: This bill would allow Delaware citizens to cast their ballots before Election Day. Early voting is recognized in neighboring states such as Maryland and New York. This election reform would have a significant impact on voter turnout.
  • HB 68 – Foreclosure Protection Program Bill: This bill, passed unanimously, would extend the Automatic Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program and the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education through December 31, 2024.

In the Senate:

  • SB 50 – Establishment of A Community College Infrastructure Fund: Senate Substitute 2 for Senate Bill 50 was passed. This would be a substitute for Senate Bill No. 50, differing from it by deleting the property tax component and stating that it is the intent of the General Assembly to appropriate at least $10 million for deferred maintenance for the next five years to be deposited to the Fund, together with such other funds as may be deposited by the college from sources including, but not limited to, tuition and fees, private funds, nonstate grants, and federal support.

Let us know if you’d like additional information about the bills. We appreciate those who have reached out to share their thoughts, and we look forward to hearing more!

March 27, 2019

A statewide call for action was issued asking members to urge legislators to protect deed restrictions and the rights of homeowner associations by keeping HB 65 from returning to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee. DAR also recently offered support for the following bills:

  • HB 68 (Kowalko): Foreclosure and Consumer Protection Program Extension
    • This Act extends the Automatic Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program and the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education through Dec. 31, 2024. The Program and the Office were established by three different Acts, each of which sunset after two years, based upon the effective date of each Act. In addition to providing a uniform date for the expiration of the entire Automatic Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program and the Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Education, this Act makes the expiration date a new subsection of each statute, so that the effective period of the law is clear and easily identified.
  • HB 89 (Matthews): The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act
    • This bill would update the members of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee to include additional stakeholders and direct the Committee to report to the General Assembly on the effectiveness of the Act, ways to improve the Act, and other measures that should be taken by the State of Delaware to prevent lead poisoning in children.

March 20, 2019

The DAR public policy team has been very busy attending the Legislative Session and various legislative fundraisers as well as traveling all over the state to represent Realtors and our industry at several critical events.

  • On Thursday, March 14, members of our public policy team attended the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce’s 17th Annual Legislative Luncheon at Dover Downs, where state legislators from Kent County discussed a variety of bills before the General Assembly.
  • On Saturday, March 16, DAR sponsored and had a full table at the First State Dinner, hosted by the leadership of Delaware’s Democratic Party. We will be equally sponsoring the Republican Party of Delaware’s dinner on May 3. As members of the “Realtor Party,” DAR is nonpartisan, working with everyone to advance issues that protect home ownership, the natural environment, private property rights, and the real estate industry.
  • On Monday, March 18, DAR representatives attended the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce 97th Annual Dinner, which celebrated the vibrant business community. Congratulations to Rep. Quinn Johnson, attorney David Swayze, and Khristian Toolan, all of whom were recognized for their contributions to the business community.

Last, but not least, all DAR members are invited to attend — at no charge — our National Association of Realtors annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington D.C. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the industry and to take an active role in advancing NAR’s 2019 advocacy agenda protecting the real estate industry, housing consumers, and property owners. This year the meetings will take place May 13 – 18, and the REALTORS® Trade Expo will be open May 15 and 16 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. each day.  Our local Realtor associations in Delaware are gearing up to bring hundreds of members to our annual DAR Congressional Delegation Meeting with Senator Tom Carper, Senator Chris Coons, and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester to discuss NAR’s key legislative priorities for 2019. That meeting is being held on Wednesday, May 15, at 2:30 p.m. If you’re interested in attending, please contact your local association.

 

March 13, 2019

Legislative Action Day was a great success. More than 100 DAR members and friends came to Legislative Hall to speak up about issues of critical importance to the real estate industry and the consumers they serve. Thank you to all who came. Your voices will long be remembered. A few of the photos are included below. So what’s next?

Last week, HB65 was introduced. This bill would enable the use of roof or ground-mounted solar systems on privately owned residential homes by making deed restrictions that effectively prohibit or arbitrarily restrict the installation of solar systems in Delaware void and unenforceable, regardless of the date recorded. DAR is strongly opposed to HB65 for the following reasons:

  • The government should not interfere with the right of property owners to privately regulate the use of their properties. Homeowner associations are encouraged to consider voluntarily amending their deed restrictions to permit alternative energy sources as their community deems appropriate.
  • An expedited procedure already exists in Chancery Court for homeowners to resolve disputes about deed restrictions.
  • A mechanism also exists to lift solar restrictions in a community with a two-thirds vote of community members.

In summary, DAR believes that House Bill 65 is unnecessary because there is an agreed-upon way for a community to change its solar deed restrictions. We believe that passage of HB65 will usurp community, municipal, and county authority and could call into question the validity of other restrictions. We need your help to defeat HB65 and end the attack on deed restrictions. Please email DAR Government Affairs Director & Chief Lobbyist Sara Elalamy at  sara@delawarerealtor.com to see how you can participate.

On Another Note —
At the request of the Public Policy Committee, DAR President Brad Riedle sent a letter on behalf of the membership to our Delaware Congressional Delegation in support of Governor Carney and nine other eastern-seaboard governors in their efforts to oppose offshore drilling and seismic airgun testing on the eastern seaboard.


2018 Legislative Session

Access the 2017 review of session issues here.


2017 Legislative Session

Access the 2017 review of session issues here.


 

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